California revenge porn laws
It is crucial that you understand California revenge porn laws before posting any pictures of images online.

It has been nearly two years since California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 255, and law enforcement officials are beginning to put the new revenge porn law to use. Convictions have been slow to come, partly because cases are difficult to prosecute. Revenge porn laws are vague and use overly-broad language. 1 But as lawmakers work to tweak the legislation, an increase in the number of charges being brought is sure to come.

Already, 2015 has seen the fall of one of the most notorious revenge porn hosting websites, UGotPosted. Its creator, Kevin Bollaert, was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he was found guilty on 21 counts of identity theft and six counts of extortion. 2

Bollaert was not prosecuted under the revenge porn law, but his case signals a new push to go after those who post nude pictures or videos online without the consent of those involved. Before you post any pictures or images online, it is critical that you understand what can be considered revenge porn under California law.

Revenge Porn Defined

Under SB 255, an act of revenge porn is defined as someone who “photographs or records by any means the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person, under circumstances where the parties agree or understand that the image shall remain private, and the person subsequently distributes the image taken, with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and the depicted person suffers serious emotional distress.” 3

In simpler terms, it is illegal to post explicit images of someone online without their consent. If the images contain multiple people, it does not matter if you have the consent of one of the parties in the image. As long as one person who can be identified in the image did not give consent, you could be charged under the revenge porn law.

The bill defines “intimate body parts” as any portion of genitalia and breasts below the top of the areola. Intimate body parts do not need to be completely exposed, as the bill includes any portion of genitalia or breasts visible through clothing which is less than opaque.

What Penalties Could You Face if Convicted?

SB 255 classifies revenge porn as disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor in California. If you are convicted of this crime, a first offense could land you in county jail for up to six months and you could also be fined up to $1,000 fine under PC 647. 4

If the victim was a minor at the time the picture was taken, or if you are convicted for a second offense, you could face up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. 5

Call a Wallin & Klarich Sex Crimes Attorney Today

Wallin & Klarich revenge porn attorneys
Call our offices today so we can listen to the facts of your case. We will get through this together.

If you are being charged with a crime under California’s revenge porn law, you need to speak to an experienced sex crimes defense attorney immediately. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients accused of sex crimes. We can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is a knowledgeable Wallin & Klarich attorney who can help you no matter where you are located.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.


1. [http://www.abc15.com/news/state/county-attorney-bill-montgomery-revenge-porn-cases-hard-to-prosecute]
2. [http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/03/us/califomia-revenge-porn-sentence/]
3. [http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB255]
4. [http://www.southerncaliforniadefenseblog.com/2013/10/revenge_porn_law_passed_in_california.html]
5. [http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB255]

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